Improving the Retail In-Store Experience
Improving the in-store experience is a key driver of today’s retail landscape. When you are up against the Amazon’s of the world, there are no half-measures – you either bring it or you risk obsolescence as your customer has better things to do than wait for you to catch up with the rest of the world.
Your in-store experience should provide even more value than its online counterpart. You should be giving your loyal customers a reason to come in, whether it’s for the awesome customer service, the groovy atmosphere, rewards incentives, or some other point that differentiates you from your competition.
Here are some of the ways you can improve your in-store experience, starting today:
1. Focus on your employees first
Your employees are on the front lines. They are the ones that meet and greet, the ones that sell, the ones that develop relationships that keep them coming back. This kind of connection goes beyond the brand to deliver a personal, feel-good experience that your customers will remember. Be sure you are giving your employees the training and tools they need to succeed.
Remember, technology is only as good as the people who are wielding it.
Employees should be trained in the technologies you use and know how to leverage them to their advantage. For instance, if you use beacons to connect with loyalty customers when they are in the area, the store should know what offers are being sent so that they can respond quickly if the notification results in a visit or a query.
2. Offer something they can’t get anywhere else
Offering customers a unique experience is all well and good, but giving them a custom service that they can’t get anywhere else is even better. For instance, you know when you visit Whole Foods, if you drive an electric vehicle you can not only park for free, you can get a fast charge while you are shopping.
If you are a clothing store, you might offer free alterations or a free bra fitting for in-store customers. You might think about installing smart mirrors, which allow shoppers to virtually “try on” different styles without actually trying anything on at all.
Cosmetic stores could offer treatments such as brow-shaping, makeup lessons, or rejuvenating skin treatments, sporting equipment stores can offer on-the-spot ski and snowboard waxing … and so on.
3. Make sure your website and brick-and-mortar locations are working together
True retail accord can only occur when the digital and terrestrial versions of the store are in alignment. Since we know that the average customer is using multiple channels in making their buying decisions, you need to adopt an omnichannel approach.
For instance, click-and-collect is one method of driving traffic to the store. It allows the customer to purchase the item online and then pick it up at the store. According to a study conducted by the ICSC, almost 70 percent of customers that shopped this way tended to buy more items once they were in the store.
4. Mobile checkout
Long lines are a great way to lose people. If the queue is long and there are no other cashiers in sight, you run the risk of the customer abandoning their purchase. Empowering your floor staff with the ability to check a customer out on their mobile phone delivers convenience and will keep them coming back.
These are just some of the ways you can improve your in-store experience. If you would like to learn more about how to digitally transform your retail operations, get in touch today.